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Energetic Margot doing his job at leadoff

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Opposing pitchers better get used to seeing Manuel Margot's name atop the Padres' lineup card. If the first three weeks of the season are any indication, it could be there for a long time.

Margot, again, served as the sparkplug for the Padres' offense Sunday, though they fell to the Marlins, 7-3, after Miami's six-run, sixth-inning outburst.

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SAN DIEGO -- Opposing pitchers better get used to seeing Manuel Margot's name atop the Padres' lineup card. If the first three weeks of the season are any indication, it could be there for a long time.

Margot, again, served as the sparkplug for the Padres' offense Sunday, though they fell to the Marlins, 7-3, after Miami's six-run, sixth-inning outburst.

View Full Game Coverage

Margot finished 2-for-3 with a walk, including a leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning. He scored on Yangervis Solarte's two-out blooper to right, continuing a bit of a familiar trend.

The 22-year-old center fielder has served as the Padres' leadoff man in 16 games this season. He has reached base in nine of them -- including six times with extra-base hits -- and he's scored on six of those occasions.

"You're really just focusing on trying to do your job and get on base for the guys behind you," Margot said through a team interpreter. "You're talking about Solarte, you're talking about Wil Myers, guys who are specifically there to drive in runs. So I just have to focus on doing my job."

The Padres are undoubtedly asking a lot of their top prospect, putting him in the leadoff spot and having him man one of the Majors' most spacious outfields.

Thus far, Margot has been up to the challenge. He certainly seems suited for the leadoff spot, given his speed and his penchant for hitting the ball hard. The Padres would like to see an uptick in his on-base percentage. But while it's not a strength, it isn't exactly a weakness either. He's walked five times, including once Sunday.

Video: MIA@SD: Margot gets things going with a three-bagger

In the eyes of manager Andy Green, Margot's ability in the leadoff spot stretches further than just the numbers.

"It's his overall energy, too, who he is on a baseball field," said Green. "He's bouncing around, slashing balls all over. I really believe he's going to develop pop in time, he's going to start driving balls out of the ballpark. Right now he's spitting line drives through the right side pretty consistently. I feel really good about what he's done for a young kid early in the season. He's gotten off to a great start."

For most of his life, Margot has found himself in the No. 1 spot in the batting order. He said that over time, he's developed a sense of what it takes to be the primary rally-starter for a team.

"Leading off is a really big responsibility," Margot said. "Every day, I'm focused on trying to get on base and then score that first run of the game, that first run for my team."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Manuel Margot